Search results

Straddling the fence

Sweden is seen as a forerunner in environmental and ecological policy. This book is about policies and strategies for ecologically rational governance, and uses the Swedish case study to ask whether or not it is possible to move from a traditional environmental policy to a broad, integrated pursuit of sustainable development, as illustrated through the ‘Sustainable Sweden’ programme. It begins by looking at the spatial dimensions of ecological governance, and goes on to consider the integration and effectiveness of sustainable development policies. The book analyses the tension between democracy and sustainable development, which has a broader relevance beyond the Swedish model, to other nation states as well as the European Union as a whole. It offers the latest word in advanced implementation of sustainable development.

Criteria for ecologically rational governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist

democratic governance – particularly if it involves corporativist streaks – and traditional environmental policy are mutually enhancing (Jänicke 1997:12 f.; Crepaz 1995; Jahn 1998). Others argue that democracies seem to have severe difficulties in adopting integrated and effective policies of sustainable resource management (Eckerberg and Lafferty 1997; O’Riordan and Voisey 1997). Liberal democracy with its piecemeal style of policy-making may prove insufficient for achieving sustainability (Hayward 1996:232). The sheer comprehensiveness of public policies needed to steer

in Sweden and ecological governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist

highest political bodies, i.e., the Municipal Council or the Council’s Board of Directors. Around 70 per cent of the adopted action plans were furthermore co-ordinated and implemented by either the Board of Directors or a specially appointed LA 21 Committee or Delegation. Only 12 per cent were under the ægis of the Environmental and Health Protection Committees. This implies that most municipalities viewed sustainable development as involving a broader resource management perspective than that of traditional environmental policy (Brundin and Eckerberg 1999). The

in Sweden and ecological governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist

to its ‘binding’ nature. The Swedish process of reorienting traditional environmental policy towards one of sustainable development began in the mid 1990s. In the spring 1997 Budget Bill, the Cabinet proposed a broad strategy for sustainable development, to be based on three overarching objectives; protection of environmental quality, efficient use of resources, and sustainable ecosystem productivity (Cabinet Bill 1996/97:150). An earlier report of the National Agenda 21 Committee had pointed to the incoherence among the numerous ‘goal like’ expressions in official

in Sweden and ecological governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist

Environment and Health Board (Eckerberg et al. 1997:56 ff.; Eckerberg 1999:16 f.). This political treatment of the issue and the allocation of coordinating responsibilities can be seen as an indication that Agenda 21 was perceived as extending beyond traditional environmental policy to involve all aspects of sustainable development. One close observer of the Swedish LA 21 process argues that there is tendency to emphasise the ecological over other aspects, both at the local level and in national programmes. Agenda 21 is largely perceived as a renewal and expansion of 2579

in Sweden and ecological governance